Tesla whistleblower doubts car safety

Having been awarded Blueprint for Free Speech Whistleblowing Prize, the whistleblower says he barely sleeps at night
The logo of Tesla is seen in Taipei, Taiwan August 11, 2017. — Reuters
The logo of Tesla is seen in Taipei, Taiwan August 11, 2017. — Reuters

Lucasz Krupski, a Tesla whistleblower, has claimed the technology powering the firm's autonomous vehicles lacks the safety system required on public roads.

The whistleblower is a former Tesla employee who earlier leaked data, including customer complaints regarding malfunction in Tesla's braking and self-driving software, to German newspaper Handelsblatt in May.

"Tesla has by far the best real-world AI," Mr Musk said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday.

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Contrary to Musk’s claim of Tesla running on the best AI, Krupski in an interview told BBC's technology editor, Zoe Kleinman, expressed concern over the technology being used to ignite Tesla's autopilot service.

Having been awarded the Blueprint for Free Speech Whistleblowing Prize, Krupski says that he barely sleeps at night as being a whistleblower has been "terrifying" for him, BBC quoted the whistleblower as saying.

Tesla's autopilot system

Its autopilot system, which encompasses assisted steering and parking, it's worth noting that despite its name, the feature requires an individual in the driver's seat who must keep their hands on the wheel.

"I don't think the hardware is ready and the software is ready," Krupski said.

"It affects all of us because we are essentially experiments on public roads. So even if you don't have a Tesla, your children still walk on the footpath."

Evidence found in the company’s data indicated that prerequisites for the safe operation of the vehicle, with a certain level of autonomous or assistive-driving technology, are not being followed, Krupski remarked.

The customer complaints' data he obtained also showed vehicles randomly braking in response to non-existent obstacles, known as "phantom braking," about which even Tesla employees had spoken to him, he added.

He said he revealed the data to protection authorities after feeling a sense of responsibility. The US Department of Justice has been actively investigating Tesla since January concerning its claims regarding assisted driving features.

Additionally, Tesla has been under scrutiny from various agencies, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, regarding its autopilot system.

The "Tesla Files," a report published by the German newspaper Handelsblatt, came to light after Krupski shared 100GB of internal data he shared.

The data protection authority in the Netherlands, where Tesla's European headquarters are situated, confirmed to the BBC that it had been informed about the data breach and is currently examining the allegation.

The UK Government announced plans for an Automated Vehicles Bill to outline a legal framework for self-driving cars in the King's Speech in early November.